Ladies, this one’s for you!

In 1984 a movie with Daryl Hannah, Brooke Shields and Eric Roberts would have been the recipient of plenty of buzz. Daryl Hannah was coming off of Splash, Roberts with The Pope of Greenwich Village and Runaway Train on the horizon, and Shields still popular from The Blue Lagoon and Endless Love.

Skip ahead twenty years to 2004, add Oscar nominee Virginia Madsen to the mix after Sideways and there’s still some pretty heavy viewer interest, right?  Throw in Wanda Sykes and Camryn Manheim and you have the makings of, what should be, a fine film.

So, in 2013, what’s happened? The Hot Flashes is filled with household names, yet it is headed straight to various VOD outlets. This likely means it’s a real stinker, right? Wrong.

Sure, The Hot Flashes is heavily flawed and is an easy movie to pick apart, but at its height, it is immensely enjoyable and entertaining.

This is the story of Beth Humprhey (Shields) and her friends, Clementine (Madsen), Ginger (Hannah), Florine (Sykes) and Roxie (Manheim). Beth puts together a menopausal basketball team to raise money to save a traveling mammogram service.  The team is called, the Hot Flashes, and the ladies must win three games against the local girls high school team to raise the $25,000 they need.

The Hot Flashes
Susan Seidelman
Brooke Shields, Viginia Madsen, Daryl Hannah, Eric Roberts, Wanda Sykes, Camryn Manheim
Release Date
July 12, 2013
Influx Grade: B

The Hot Flashes falls somewhere in between Bridesmaids and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story in terms of concept. While it doesn’t achieve the comedic high points of Bridesmaids or Dodgeball it captures a very human element as the viewer follows the struggles this group of women face as they confront the unavoidable hands of time.

This is a basketball movie with terribly played basketball, and not intentionally, so.  It’s just bad basketball, so if you can’t get past that, you won’t get past The Hot Flashes.

However, set aside that minor (OK, major) shortcoming and The Hot Flashes provides the viewer with plenty of funny and entertaining moments.

For Beth and her friends, the basketball games serve as a coming of age story for the next stage of life. Through the game and the relationships with one another they learn to accept their current selves and rekindle a youthful spirit thought to be lost.

After viewing The Hot Flashes, it is understandably not a movie meant for a theatrical release, at least not a wide release. However, it has the potential to find a wide and appreciative audience on cable, VOD and various streaming outlets, and deservedly so.

Grade: B

Review by Gordon Shelly, special to Influx Magazine